We’ve had a great time interviewing Molly over at Rue de la Marguerite this week. Readers, you are going to ADORE this website & the fabulous accessories.
1. Please tell our audience about your Rue de la Marguerite shop and how you got started.
In a throwaway world, Rue de la Marguerite champions the concept of upcycling, which focuses on using found elements from past and present and breathing new life into them with fresh, innovative purpose. As lead designer, I am constantly salvaging watch parts, vintage typewriters and other assorted antiques in order to create unique, sophisticated jewelry for men and women without sacrificing style and attention to current trends.
The idea of upcycling arose after a trip to Mozambique, East Africa in 2008 to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. During my evening walks through the local village, I witnessed young kids playing with handmade toys, made of discarded trash and cans. One young boy in particular caught my attention, having fashioned his own model tricycle complete with steering wheel adjustments! He ‘drove’ it up to me with a huge grin, while I stood agape at the stunning inventiveness of the toy and its 7-year-old architect. Thus, the spark was born.
The principle transcends the creative aspect of my company however, as vintage materials are not the only factor that I aspire to revitalize. I’ve been a devoted supporter of animal rights and rescue since befriending the neighborhood ‘Tom’ cat at the ripe old age of six and spent several years during and after college in New York City working in shelters and with various rescue organizations. Because of this, 10% of all proceeds goes directly to animal rescue, specifically no-kill shelters.
My business began with the personal credo that every existing item and animal is worth saving, no matter the condition. With a collective muse of rescued felines at my side, I hope to grow my business of high quality upcycled designs and continue to save animals in need! And as a former NYC-inhabitant, an additional 10% of proceeds from this holiday season’s sales will benefit animals displaced by Hurricane Sandy. So please, shop well!!!
2. The holiday season is here! Lots of us are shopping. What are some gift ideas that you can recommend from Rue de la Marguerite?
I’ve just created a new line of money clips for men, showcasing an amazing array of authentic foreign coins as center pieces. Personalized gifts are so meaningful, and this line is terrific as it offers the ability to choose a specific country that may have personal meaning for the person receiving the gift. It’s a way of traveling back to a special place and time and showing that special fella in your life how much you care in a unique and original way. Plus, they’re an affordable, timeless gift at just $38!
Another great idea is a pair of “Open Watch” earrings, one of the signature items at RDLM. You can select a particular shape of vintage watch movement – oval, round, or rectangle – and know you’re giving a really unique gift!
3. What are your best selling pieces and what types of consumer does your merchandise typically appeal to?
For men, the Vintage Watch cufflinks are hands down the best-selling item. I made the first pair several months ago at the request of a customer for her husband, and now it’s hard to keep up with the demand! For women, I’ve found that the more unique the piece, the larger the appeal so a number of one-of-a-kind items have been flying out of the studio lately. However, the new line of Vintage Watch Face items (necklace, bracelets and earrings) has been selling well too, and they’re great conversation starters!
I’ve been so pleasantly surprised to find that RDLM appeals to such a wide range of consumers! At festivals and shows, the crowd is inevitably a mix of all demographics, from older couples who remember learning to type on typewriters, to late teens who find the mechanical originality of the watch pieces to be “so rad”. It’s a huge variety of people and I love meeting them all and hearing their stories.
4. Is there one piece of advice that you can share with other entrepreneurs that has helped you along in your journey?
Stay POSITIVE. And breathe. Breathing is very important. And when you’re having a bad day, hug the cat.
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